Scaling of Cooling Performance

The Big Typhoon VX was outstanding at stock idle and above average among top coolers at stock load. However, as overclocks were raised, the VX was not particularly outstanding in the ability to cool the CPU under stress conditions. To be as fair as possible all overclocking tests were run with the Big Typhoon VX fan at the highest speed.

At 2.93GHz the retail HSF is running at 41C, compared to 27C with the VX. This is a delta of 14C. The delta becomes greater as the overclock increases. At 3.73GHz the idle with the retail fan is 56C compared to the VX at 38C - a delta of 18C. The cooling performance of the Big Typhoon VX is much better than the Intel retail cooler at idle, but the VX does not reach the same cooling levels measured with the Thermalright coolers (with a Scythe S-Flex SFF21F fan) or the stock Tuniq 120. The top Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, for example, is at 33C at the same 3.73GHz, and it is still cooler than the VX at any speed measuring just 36C at the much higher overclock of 3.94GHz.

Cooling efficiency of the Thermalright Big Typhoon VX was also compared under load conditions to the retail HSF and other recently tested CPU coolers. Load testing can be very revealing of a cooler's efficiency. A basically flat line, particularly form 3.73GHz upward, indicates the cooler is still in its best cooling range. A line that is increasing rapidly indicates a cooler nearing the end of its ability to cool efficiently. Lines which parallel the best coolers over a range of values are showing similar efficiency slopes.

The VX is very efficient in cooling in the 2.93 GHz to 3.73 GHz overclock range. As you can see in the chart the slope of the line is similar to that of other top coolers in this range. The VX continues on to a highest overclock of 3.85GHz, which is well short of the 3.90GHz to 3.94GHz most of the top coolers in our testing have achieved. Compared with the top coolers, which have flat lines in this range, the slope of the VX in this range is steeper, indicating it is nearing the end of its area of efficient cooling.

The 3.85 GHz with the VX tied the Cooler Master GeminII for best performance by a down-facing fan cooler. At 3.85 GHz the cooling temperature with the Big Typhoon VX was 62C. This compares to the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme at the higher 3.94 GHz at 47C, 45C at 3.90GHz, and 43C at 3.83 GHz. The Tuniq 120 is 51C at 3.90 GHz.

Clearly the Big Typhoon VX is not in the same cooling category as the best heatpipe towers we have tested. It is a decent cooler in a more limited range, but the cooling efficiency is not the equal of the best heatpipe towers.

As stated many times, the overclocking abilities of the CPU will vary at the top, depending on the CPU. This particular CPU does higher FSB speeds than any X6800 we have tested, but the 3.9GHz top speed with the Tuniq is pretty average among the X6800 processors we have tested with Tuniq cooling. A few of the other processors tested with the best air coolers reach just over 4 GHz, but the range has been 3.8 to 4.0GHz. Stock cooling generally tops out 200 to 400 MHz lower, depending on the CPU, on the processors tested in our lab.

Cooling at Stock Speed Overclocking


View All Comments

  • Amuro - Friday, June 8, 2007 - link

    I found this review that compares the Freezer 7 Pro with the Big Typhoon VX, and the Freezer 7 beats it:">
  • qquizz - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Thermaltake just hopes people confuse their name with Thermalright ;) Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    I remember when I used to come to AT for reviews of real hardware like motherboards and CPUs. I am glad another 8 pages of "content" gets to devoted to a CPU cooler and says what could have been said in a paragraph. I would much rather see a large cooler roundup and get down to what people care about, which coolers are the best performing, and which are the best value. That is all people really care about, no one (and I mean no one) need 8 pages of information for every half decent CPU cooler on the market. Reply
  • nbowman - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    hehe, don't read the Hexus review then, its like 125 pages long (no bull) for 25 coolers. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, June 8, 2007 - link

    Don't forget, there is a page devoted to the all-important packaging. Reply
  • nsx241 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Um, in that case, just skip to the conclusion. No one's forcing you to read all of it. Reply
  • MageXX9 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    As I said in a previous review, I hate those Intel-style push clips. I've only installed one Core 2 Duo machine, and the retail fan installation amazes me at how bad it was. I can't understand for the life of me why any aftermarket heatsink would use anything other than a screw down design that let you press the heatsink down evenly.

    I understand the ability to install a heatsink while the motherboard is in the case is desirable but it's no problem for me to pull the motherboard. The added insurance is worth it.
  • n7 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Results are not bad for what's basically an old cooler revised.

    Any plans for an Enzotech Ultra-X review?
  • stepone - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    I have a TT 120 VX & with down blower coolers you need to have an extraction fan in the case as the air gets pushed down onto the mobo instead of towards the back fan opening of the case as is the case with tower coolers. I use mine in an Antec P182 with both the top & rear fans set to low (580 RPM) which is inaudibile @ 1m and pulls very little air but still lowers the temp @load by 6-8 degrees depending on what you're doing.

    Further evidence of this is that in your review the 120 VX has the 2nd lowest stock idle temperature, just 1 degree behind the ultra!

    The cooler is good, it just needs a little assistance in getting the hot air out of the case and who doesn't have at least 1 exhaust fan running above 580RPM in their case?

    Could Anand tech maybe add 1 case fan@ low RPM's and re-test the down blowers against the ultra 120?
  • magreen1 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    See Wesley's response above -- they already did briefly retest 4 coolers with a case fan. Reply

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